Information & Facts
The blue Aegean waters that wash the beaches of the peninsula on
which Bodrum is perched lend themselves admirably to a vast range
of watersports, from scuba diving to windsurfing and jet-skiing.
Local operators can be found all over the area, renting out
equipment, arranging excursions or offering lessons. Aquatic
thrills are also on offer at the town's two waterparks.
Those who grow tired of the sea and sand can go hiking; local
walking clubs offer programmes (generally not in the height of the
summer season when it is too hot). There are numerous ways to get
out of town and explore the enchanting villages, bays and historic
sites in the area. The Castle of St Peter, Bodrum Amphitheatre, and
windmills are all popular attractions. Either hire a car,
motor-bike, or bicycle; take a boat/hydrofoil trip; book an
organised excursion; a jeep safari; or simply hop on a dolmus
(mini-bus). An absolute 'must' is to enjoy a
hamam(Turkish bath), complete with massage, to soothe the
cares away. The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology has won
many awards for its fascinating displays, including the famous
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely
understood in the main tourist areas.
The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was
introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from
the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Currency can be
exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports and
ferry ports; banks have the worst rates and highest commissions,
but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open
mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas.
ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but
Turkish ATM keypads usually do not have letters of the alphabet on
their keys. Most bank branches have ATMs which accept Cirrus and
Plus. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are
Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is accepted in many of the
more expensive places. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some
banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash
or credit cards. US dollars or Euros are preferred. Some pensions
and hotels in the most popular destinations accept US dollars as
Bodrum beaches are shingled and can become very crowded during
the height of the summer holiday season. The city's narrow streets
become clogged with tourists, day and night, during peak periods.
Women have complained of experiencing unwelcome attention from
The nightlife on a Bodrum holiday is frenetic and varied,
offering not only western-style decadent clubs and discos, but also
the chance to sample partying Turkish style at one of the
meyhanes(there are several of these local nightclubs on
the road to Konacik and Ortakent) where the crowd joins in with the
local artiste, singing, dancing, eating and drinking. Most of the
bars in Bodrum's mile-long 'Bar Street' (Dr. Alim Bey and
Cumhuriyet Street), offer dancing, belly-dancing shows, live music
and outdoor seating (often on the beach) with a view of the
illuminated castle. For clubbers the main place to be is
Halikarnas, one of the biggest and swankiest open-air clubs in the
world, where the entrance charge matches the volume of the music
and brightness of the laser lights. There are plenty of other
clubs, even one on a catamaran that sets sail late at night and
takes the party out to sea until the dawn.
Warm, sultry evenings in Bodrum are best spent dining on fresh
seafood or local specialities in one of the numerous restaurants.
Those who prefer to stick to more familiar tastes will find plenty
of the usual popular cuisines on offer too, like Italian, Thai,
Chinese, Mexican and European. Renowned as the top place in town
for typical Turkish is Denizhan, a little out of town between
Konacik and Ortakent, easily reached in a dolmus or taxi.
For excellent Aegean dishes, especially lamb, Epsilon in the old
town is hard to beat. The best pizza in Bodrum is served up with a
view on the rooftop terrace of Sunger Pizza, while a good blend of
Mediterranean and Californian cuisine can be enjoyed at La Jolla
Bistro at Xuma Beach. Also very popular is the Secret Garden, near
the Marina, where English cooks prepare gourmet Mediterranean fare
with flair. The Backpacker Bar & Grill caters to the expat
crowd with traditional English food.
Like everywhere in Turkey, shopping on a Bodrum holiday is quite
an adventure, with dozens of shops lining the busy narrow streets,
mainly from the bus station down to the marina. Touts and vendors
offer a variety of local goods, from carpets and kilims to
leatherware, gold and silver jewellery, and designer clothing (much
of which is fake). Look out for Turkish meershaum pipes and onyx.
There is an extensive, colourful craft market in operation on
Tuesdays, and a fruit and vegetable market on Fridays. Bargaining
is expected and it is customary to haggle down to about half the
asking price. In Bodrum some shops stay open late at night, some
even all night.